Sunday, April 20, 2014

Boston Strong

Since the Boston Marathon is tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this), I thought I'd check in to tell you what I'm thinking about. 

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I don't watch the Boston Marathon every year. To be honest, sometimes I don't even like watching it. The logistics of parking and road closures, the inevitable headache from focusing so hard to find the runner you want to see, and the hoarse voice from yelling so loud… Yes, I know it's much harder for the runners, but sometimes spectating a marathon is no joke either. But, some of my best memories from college are from Marathon Monday. When you live on the route, the logistics are a lot less, and when you are in college you can acceptably drink away your worries and just cheer with reckless abandon. The Boston Marathon is amazing because of the runners, because of all they sacrifice to train in the cold winter months, because of all they sacrifice to be able to run up Heartbreak Hill, because of so much more. But, the spectators are important too. They are also what make it such a great marathon to run. That is why it broke my, and the world's, heart when two men placed bombs down next to the spectators at the finish line. The hardcore spectators who had braved the parking and road closures to support the people they love and cheer for the people they don't even know. The running community took it personally, Boston took it personally, everyone took it personally. 

I was in DC last year during the marathon. Eric and I woke up early on Monday morning and were being crazy tourists  in the city when the text messages started flooding in checking to make sure we were okay. We saw the effects of what happened in DC: flags at half mast, much tighter security, etc. The effects of what happened were clearly felt outside of Boston. But when we got home, it was hard to think about much else. I wrote about being thankful for the good moments in these big moments of crisis. It was easier to focus on the positive.

Boston gets a bad reputation because we don't always seem friendly and welcoming, but I think we showed the world that we are strong and we take care of each other. That Friday we took such good care of each other that the city of Boston and several surrounding towns literally stopped completely so that the police could find one of the bombers. It was scary to be told not to leave your house on what seemed to be a Friday like any other, but no one protested because finding one of the men responsible for attacking our city was everyone's top priority on that day. From the business owners who lost money keeping their shops closed, to my students who were stuck inside on a beautiful sunny day. 

I'm still proud of this city. 

I am sometimes reluctant to be a proud American (but don't you dare say anything bad about us), but I am always proud to be from Boston. We have a beautiful and historical city, with great restaurants and amazing sports teams. It doesn't bother me at all if you don't want to talk to me in the grocery store line, actually I'd prefer it if you don't. You'll take care of me when it matters. 

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I am so proud of all the runners and spectators for the marathon this year. I am so proud of you for overcoming your fears and showing the bad guys that they will not win. 

 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tea Date: Weddings and Workouts

The weather is getting beautiful, so shall we grab a quick Iced Passion Tea? Well, that's my favorite anyway :) 

It's officially my last week of maternity leave. I go back to work Friday, and then I have a vacation, ha. So, maybe it's not officially my last week? I'm not sure how blogging will go when I'm back at work… I'm thinking nonexistent for awhile since it's been hard to get on my computer even without work. Does anyone know a good app for blogging on an iPhone? Because that I could do… ha. 

If we were having tea today I'd tell you...

We went to our first wedding of the season on Friday, and first wedding with a baby. Max didn't come to the wedding, but since it was a little over an hour away and Eric was in the wedding, we did bring him and my parents to the hotel. It is unbelievable how much preparation and packing is involved in taking a baby to a wedding specifically. When we take Max to the Cape, we have some stuff already down there. But, taking him to a hotel involves a Pack N Play, some entertainment, clothes, blankets and so much more. Plus, there is just a lot for ourselves. Eric had his tux, and I had a dress, fancy shoes, my pump, my big camera… the list goes on. It was basically absurd the amount of stuff we had. 

The wedding itself was a lot of fun. The guy getting married is a very close friend of Eric's from high school and I love his wife. As an added bonus, he is somewhat responsible for guilting me into hanging out with Eric when we first met, and he is completely responsible (legally) for us being married since he was the one who did it! 

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Having Brian be our officiant was probably one of my favorite things about our wedding, so I was very excited to watch him get married on Friday.

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The reception was at a winery in New Hampshire, which was gorgeous and I will definitely be back to. As an added bonus, they had a nice bridal room, which I know all about because I had to visit there to pump. A much better situation than the nasty closet I will be pumping in at work… love you Max, really. 

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I love that all the photos had a pink tint. Ha. Of course Eric had to do a crazy move during his entrance. During the last wedding he was in, he broke the girl's dress with his crazy acrobatics. This time the girl just ended up with a small rug burn… it's dangerous business being partners with Eric. 

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My favorite detail of the ceremony was the place cards/favors. They were small bottles of wine from the winery itself. 

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I'm proud of the fact that I took the photo that is on the label :) Just try to ignore the absolutely TERRIBLE picture I got of the wine glass and didn't have time to edit, oops. 

So, successful wedding overall, though I am grateful we did not decide to have a baby in the midst of the million weddings we have had the past few years. It's so much more complicated now, like everything I suppose. 

The other thing I would tell you about if we weren't finished with our passion teas yet is my crazy lingering pregnancy issues. The Friday before last I went to my postnatal yoga class as usual, but I was the only student there. The teacher decided to have class with me anyways, and she did more of a normal yoga class since I was 11 weeks postpartum at the time and she knew I'd been doing yoga with her since 6 weeks. It felt AWESOME, but that night I discovered a small lump above my belly button. I went to my doctor that Monday and was diagnosed with diastasis recti, which is basically an ab separation that (in my case) was caused by pregnancy. Because… yay? I asked about what exercises I could/couldn't do and they said to call my ob, who then ALSO wanted to see me. So, I was back there. Because… yay x50? My ob confirmed the diagnosis, and confirmed what my doctor best bud Ash told me which is that the only real cure is surgery and how the BEEP am I going to take care of a baby I can't lift for 6 weeks… so no. She also said it's pointless to do surgery until you are done having kids (which frankly is looking more and more like now, but anyway) and that surgery may not be covered by insurance anyway. I really don't care at all about how it looks. My stomach has never been a strong area of my body and looking hot on the beach is just really not a concern of mine. However, when you don't have a strong core, it sets you up for all sorts of other injuries especially back problems. As someone with an active job, who lives in active lifestyle this stuff ALL concerns me. 

SO… I am now doing some daily exercises I found online, and saying goodbye to pilates and regular yoga (I can still do prenatal) for awhile. If I see any improvement, I'll obviously do another more specific post about this but for now I don't want to endorse anything I haven't tried. Hopefully this will help! In the meantime, my OB said I'm fine to do cardio workouts that don't seem to bother it more, so I'm carefully continuing to swim, bike and run. 

That is about all from me. Now I'm going to go try to reorganize my work life for a few minutes before Max wakes up. Tell me what is going on with you in the comments! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yay It's April!

I'm usually not a big fan of March, but it's amazing what not working will do for a month. Ha. I'm definitely ready to get some better weather this month though!

Highlights of March 2014: 

Hanging out with an adorable baby. 

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Getting back into exercise. I completed 4 successful weeks of the Couch to 5K (only running 2 days a week, not 3). I attended yoga every Friday and tried both Pilates and Barre classes. I took lots of walks and of course, I did not abandon my ever favorite, swimming. I was even able to do some speed work in swimming, which felt so good to do again. I can't wait until I can return to my favorite pond, hopefully in May?

Seeing friends. It was a good month for seeing friends. My college roommate came to visit at the beginning of the month. I visited Katie and Teddy one Sunday afternoon. I went out to lunch with some college friends and was visited by others. A high school friend who lives in DC at the moment came home and got to meet Max. I went to a birthday party and got to see work friends I've been missing. I can't complain overall! 

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Ironically, I did not take a single picture of myself with these friends, but I did take some of Max (of course). I need to work on that in April. Maybe I just need to work on taking pictures of ANYTHING other than Max, lol. 

More reading. This month I read 5 books. I did not LOVE any of them. The tie for my favorite would be Conspiracy of Silence and Viola in Reel Life. I really wanted to love The Thirteenth Tale but I just could not get myself into it. 

Rules of Civility by Amor Towls

Conspiracy of Silence by Martha Powers. 

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (technically I finished this on April 1st at 4am, counting it as March ha ha)

Conspiracy


April Goals

I'm ready to try out some goals again this month. Technically I go back to work in April, but I think I only work like 3 days of this month so hopefully I can handle a few goals. Of course, if they don't happen, no big deal :) That's kind of my theory on daily goals right now too! 

1. Organize and simplify. Specifically, put away Max's winter and newborn clothes. Donate two bags of my clothing. Bring some of Max's things to the Cape, especially blankets, a few books and toys. 

2. Attend at least 4 yoga or pilates classes. I only have 1 more week of my yoga class, so I want to make sure I keep it all up. I can't aim too high though :) 

3. Run 2 Miles. I am still at the walk/run part of the Couch to 5K but I think there will be some continuous running soon. I'd like to do a Sprint Tri in May that requires running 2.3 miles after swimming and biking, so I need to be at 2 miles this month. Let's not discuss actually getting on a bike… I'm still so scared to do that. 

4. Try a new restaurant. Because the most peaceful eating I get these days is in restaurants. Hopefully Max's delightful restaurant behavior continues another month! 

5. Be in the photos. As noted above, I was not in many (if any) photos this month. I want to make sure when I look back on this time I don't wonder if I was actually there, lol. 

 

What's on tap for you in April? 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Max: 10 Weeks Old

Max has hit the double digits as far as weeks go! It's hard to believe :) 

What has this busy little baby been up to lately? 

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Oh sorry, I meant besides saving the world. 

Well, he went on his first out of state day trip to visit his great-aunt, great-grandmother and only living great-grandfather in Connecticut last week. Of course he was a complete delight on the trip. I'm going to post some photos of that in a future post about all of Max's great-grandparents so stay tuned for that. 

He also had his first day of kindergarten a little early! 

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I took him to visit my school/kindergarten class and it went really well. He was asleep but when 22 kids surrounded him he woke up and just looked around a bit, didn't even mind. It was so nice to see the kids, I really missed them. They told me all sorts of random information I have missed the past few months. I'm currently feeling excited to go back to work even though I know it is going to have it's challenges. 

Max also got his two month shots last week, and luckily it went well. He only cried for a few seconds and then he basically just did a lot of sleeping for 24 hours after that. 

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The last big accomplishment recently has been transitioning Max to the crib. He has been sleeping IN the crib in his own room for over a month now, but because I was so scared to mess with his good sleep, I had the bassinet IN the crib with him in it ha ha. Eric finally convinced me that I didn't want to drag the bassinet to the Cape in a few weeks, so I just put him in the crib and all went well. The only issue is, he always manages to move himself all the way down the crib so he can kick the bars. Despite the fact that I have a video monitor I have NO idea how he is doing this. He always waits until I am asleep to inch his way down… someday I'm going to figure out how!

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Before you just try to kidnap my son because he is SO GOOD, I should mention he has been going through a very fussy period the last couple of weeks. I think it's been too long to just be the go to "growth spurt" that everyone blames for everything. Yesterday, between Eric and I, we took the child on 3 weeks and had multiple dance parties just to keep the crying somewhat at bay. I think what it really is, is that he is having a hard time settling down for naps and then gets himself so tired that there is no chance of him falling asleep. I have done some good 2AM online reading the past few nights and I think I'm going to try to put him on a nap schedule and do as many naps as possible in his crib. I resisted doing this because I had high hopes of him becoming the type of baby who can sleep anywhere, plus I didn't want to be attached to a nap schedule like I am an eating schedule… but at this point I really think this is what's best for him. I plan to be pretty strict about morning nap(s) and more lax about afternoon naps if we are out and about. Hopefully this will work :) I will say that I am currently enjoying my first breakfast in peace in several days (other than yesterday when my mom held him while I ate ha ha) and I'm actually getting around to writing this blog post all because Max is upstairs napping, SO… nap schedule it is!

Speaking of naps/sleeping, Max has resisted an arms in swaddle since Day 1, so my mom got him these AWESOME swaddles that allow his arms to be out easily. However, I think he recently realized that they kind of look like a dress...

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Look Max… with me as a mom, you are lucky pink is not involved :) 

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Likes: cuddling, getting his diaper changed, fighting naps, going for walks, hanging out in the Ergo, bath time (yay!)

Dislikes: any clothes that require being put over his head, when he is super tired, the witching hour (or is that just us)

Feeding: He is doing great with eating, still eating on a schedule but I've discovered a couple of times in the last week that I can push the schedule at this point and he still does okay. Yay! 

Sleeping: Max's sleeping at night is going well. On the days when he naps a lot, he wakes up twice during the night. On the days when he fights naps all day, he only wakes up once. We shall see what happens with the schedule, but at this point I'm willing to sacrifice those blissful one time wake ups for a little bit happier days! 

Mom Update: The past few weeks have been a bit more of a challenge since I now have a baby who cannot be put down, so simply emptying the dishwasher has become a task that can take hours at a time. But, on the other hand, it's not so terrible to just cuddle with a baby for hours at a time either as long as you don't focus on the complete lack of productivity :) Exercise continues to go well which I am happy about, really hoping I can push this momentum into May when I'm back at work, yikes. Also, I said goodbye to my maternity clothes (except my pair of jeans that I may never say goodbye to) the other day. I found some work pants that fit, so I figured I could officially put everything away now. I love maternity clothes but it is nice to have a little space in my closet!

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Thanks for reading all about Max :) I have not been keeping up with his baby book at all (oops) so it will be nice to be able to read all these updates later! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Max is 2 Months Old!

Happy St. Patrick's Day and 2 Month Birthday to Max! It's funny, Max likes to have eventful birthdays- his 1 month was on Eric's birthday and 2 month on St. Patrick's Day. His three month will be the last day before I go back to work, which is basically a holiday in itself. 

The super skeptical looks Max gave me frequently at six weeks have now evolved to full on teenager "seriously mom?" faces: 

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Not to mention super anger when things do not go his way. 

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Or in the case of the picture on the left, anger that Eric's finger is not giving him any milk. 

But really, Max is a very happy baby. He is beginning to smile more and I THINK it is in response to things, but not always :) I'll take smiles any way I can get them. 

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Max is starting to show slightly more interest in toys and I introduced him to his Activity Gym last week. He is interested in all the animals but just not sure what is going on with them yet. 

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Max continues to be the champion of restaurant behavior- even when he is awake, he just hangs out and enjoys life. This means I can just hang out and enjoy my wine, thank you best baby. He has attended yoga with me twice and just slept through it both times. 

Looks Like: 

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Likes: pretending to walk on dad's lap, using mom and dad as a jungle gym, throwing up and not letting us clean it up, still in love with his rock n play, starting to MAYBE enjoy bath time as long as the water is nice and warm, peeing as soon as his diaper comes off...

 

Dislikes: most everything after a puking incident, being awake for too long, starting to possibly notice when his diaper is wet (maybe?), getting dried off after a bath, when he cannot immediately find the boob...

 

Feeding: He still eats on the regular schedule during the day, and has been averaging about 30 minutes per feeding (which is about 10 minutes shorter than before… progress!). At night, he often gets one 4 hour stretch, and then a 2-3, sometimes in the reverse order. He is up twice a night still but going to bed a little earlier, so hopefully we will continue to make progress with this. Last week Max went on a bottle strike where he would either refuse to drink his bottle or drink it and then be super crabby pants after. We switched bottles and this made a huge difference, so fingers crossed that remains. 

 

Sleeping: At least one 4 hour stretch a night is becoming the norm, and the past two nights Max has only woke up once, yippee! I'll take what I can get :) 

 

Mom Update: Two months in I'd say I'm definitely in a grove. I keep myself sane but having at least one adventure with Max every day. I am becoming a pro at lugging him, his car seat and all the crap he needs everywhere. I'm hating breastfeeding far less (maybe only 20% of the time?), but I still absolutely despise the fact that if someone gives him a bottle I have to pump when all I want is a break! My exercise routine continues to go well- I did 2 days of Couch to 5k, 2 of swimming and 1 of yoga last week. I tried my first Barre class today. There are still tough moments, but most of the time it's just good moments :) It might have something to do with the fact that I have the best and cutest baby ever. Luckily, I'm not biased at all. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

The Return to Exercise

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was hoping to get cleared to work out again at my 6 week postpartum appointment. That happened :) So, I've officially been back in the game for a little over a week. I'm not planning to do weekly workout updates but I figure I'll summarize the first week and then I may do another one when I return to work and things get even more complicated. 

Right now my challenges are:

1. I have a baby attached to my hip/boob. 

2. I was hoping I'd be able to pass Max off to Eric as soon as he gets home since he works out at home, but I forgot about the whole feeding thing… so really I can't work out until 5pm or later. 

3. I'm tired, so the last thing I want to do at 5pm or later is work out. 

4. I couldn't do all the work outs I wanted to the last 10 months, so now I have workout ADD and I want to do EVERYTHING. 

But, my super lucky things are: 

1. My mom is willing to watch Max during the day so I can work out. So far I've taken advantage of this to swim once a week.

2. I found a yoga class I can bring Max to. 

3. I have a treadmill at home so I can walk and run with Max sleeping next to me. 

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So what have I done so far? 

I got cleared on Thursday February 27, so I'll begin with February 28th. My doctor had said I could do yoga and walking before the 6 week appointment, so I started both of those about a week earlier. 

Friday February 28th: Postpartum Yoga. I am loving this yoga class for many reasons. The first is that I can bring Max and he just hangs out in the car seat sleeping (at least so far, we shall see ha ha). The second is that the class is at a yoga and pilates studio, so the class incorporates some great pilates exercises as well as yoga. Pilates was a love of mine way before yoga so it's nice to get back into it especially now when I need core work! I ended up signing up for a 3 month unlimited to this studio so I can try a full pilates class and a barre class as well! Workout ADD. 

Saturday March 1st: Walk with Max and Eric

Sunday March 2nd: Walk with Max and Eric

Monday March 3rd: I returned to swimming, wahoo! My mom watched Max, thanks Mom! I was really hoping that going mid day would mean that I had my choice of open lanes, but the pool/gym was PACKED. Do people work? 

Tuesday March 4th: My first very slow return to running. I did a modified Couch to 5K on the treadmill. I survived running! Yay!

Wednesday March 5th: Off

Thursday March 6th: I met a friend at the pool at night. This is going to be the key to late night workouts for me, meeting someone there. We may have spent slightly more time chatting than swimming, and the pool was kind of insane but hey, I got some laps in, so that's all that matters. 

Friday March 7th: Yoga

Saturday March 8th: I returned to outside running. I did the Couch to 5K with the app on my phone, which is pretty freaking awesome not going to lie. 

Sunday March 9th: Walk with Max and Eric

Monday March 10th: Swim

Tomorrow it's going to be 50 degrees so I'm going to wait until Eric gets home and go for a quick run before Max's 4 o'clock feeding. I'm not sure how running will go right before a feeding, but it's all about experimenting at this point. to surprisingly, my return to working out has made me feel 100 times better and even given me some energy back. I really don't know how people survive without exercise! 

What workouts have you been doing lately? 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

How Do You Make Friends?

I am very lucky that I have a large supply of many wonderful friends. I have friends I work out with. I have friends I go out to dinner with. I have some faraway friends and many who live nearby. I have friends through blogging, through work, from high school (and middle/elementary school) and college… 

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I would say I am pretty good at making friends. 

However, there is one friend making method I just totally fail at: forced friend making situations. I'm not sure why this is. Is it because I prefer to take my time getting to know someone? Is it because I just find those kind of situations awkward? Is it the pressure of "we must be friends!"?

I first discovered how bad I was at this in college. Before that, I just kind of made friends in classes or through friends of friends, and never gave it much thought. Then I went to college. I immediately befriended my roommate and a few others from my dorm. But, at BC it was a big thing to go on weekend retreats and become OMG BESTIES with everyone you went with. So I thought I'd give it a try. I'm sure you can imagine how that went. Then I tried doing some volunteer things to make friends… again, nope. It seems the more I TRY to make friends, the less I actually do. 

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I bring this up now because I am obviously in a new "phase" of my life. At first I thought, I really don't need any more friends, especially because several of my current friends are having babies right now anyway. But then, week 1 of maternity leave went by and I'm like I NEED MORE FRIENDS (specifically stay at home mom friends). So, I decided I'd start going to a moms group and see if I could make friends that way. I blame sleep deprivation for this temporary lapse in judgement. 

So, I've been to this moms group twice. There are some great people there, and some completely ridiculous/weird people there. I handle the structured part well- the guest speaker and the check in, but then when it is time to just mingle, I find myself feeling super awkward. I fiddle with Max's car seat straps to avoid eye contact. I glance at the clock to see when would be an appropriate time to leave. I try to make small talk, but… I hate small talk, and small talk about babies is a special kind of torture. I love Max, but he has not increased my excitement about poop and sleep schedules (unless you know a way to get him to sleep longer at night, then I'm all ears). 

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I know I could continue to go every week and give it more of a chance, and maybe I will. But in the end I know myself, I will not make friends this way. Let's be honest, I only have 7 weeks left of maternity leave and then the last thing I will need is stay at home mom friends, so it really doesn't matter. Yesterday I had lunch with one of Eric's friend's wives who is also on maternity leave. It was super fun and I didn't need to fiddle with the car seat or glance at the clock even once. 

How do you make friends? Are you the type that can go on a weekend trip and come back as best friends?